Marnie Lee Mackintosh and her nine-year-old pug have been reunited after 16 days of Nugget being lost. 

Mackintosh says Nugget has become almost completely blind over the last year and can only see about a hands-length in front of her. 

Nugget went missing from the family's home in Kleefeld on Easter Sunday. 

“Each of us thought that one of us put her in the house when one of us had left. Because she's quiet and lies around as long as she's with you, you don't hear her,” Mackintosh says. “And it wasn't until later that night that we realized that she was missing, and that's when all hell broke loose and we started searching frantically everywhere for her. 

She says the following weeks were hard, but the community was very present in both searching for Nugget and spreading the word through social media. 

“It ended up being 16 days of searching for her, but through those 16 days, we had an enormous, enormous community support. And it was pretty much anybody I talked to, ‘Have you seen the pug?’ So everybody knew there was this little pug missing.” 

Mackintosh says the family never gave up hope, but it was hard not to think of the worst-case scenarios. 

“Her being gone, especially later into the night, being blind, being a smaller dog, being in the area with coyotes, hawks, and eagles, a lot of emotions started to kick in." 

Fighting off negative thoughts, the family felt that Nugget was still alive. 

“It's almost like a mother's gut instinct, we just didn't feel that she was gone, we didn't feel that she had passed over that rainbow bridge. And just based on that gut instinct, it just kept us going.” 

The family spent countless hours searching for Nugget. 

“I can't even tell you the hours and the miles that were spent walking through the bush. To be honest, I can't believe one of us didn't get lost we were walking so far in that bush.” 

Mackintosh says the family was not coping well. 

“We had gotten to the point where we were having a horrible breakdown, you're just losing your mind out of control.” 

About 30 minutes after the breakdown, they received a phone call that put an end to all their worries.

On Tuesday, April 16, Nugget was found.  

“LR Horse & Pet from Kleefeld, who I'd like to give a big shout out to for all their help, called and said, ‘I think we found Nugget,’ and you fall on the floor and your heart, from going through a low emotion to a high emotion, just explodes.” 

She says Nugget was found running all over Highway 52. 

“A lot of people stopped and blockaded her to catch her. There was one gentleman that recognized her and caught her.” 

Nugget has lost a bit of weight, but Mackintosh says she seems to be getting better now.  

“The first thing she did when she got home, she just played with her squeaky toy cookie that she loves so much, and she has not stopped playing with it. So she is in really good health.” 

She says this happy ending is all thanks to the community’s kindness and support. 

“It was a tremendous outpouring. I don't know how to thank the community enough for all their help. Everybody that spent their own time looking for Nugget, everybody that shed tears for Nugget, all the businesses that let us put up the posters of Nugget,” she says. “It's all extremely appreciated, and I can't express how thankful we are. Bless everybody's heart for everything they've done to help with this rescue.”

Kleefeld is approximately 35 kilometres south of Winnipeg. 

With files from Dave Anthony